World’s last steamcoaster SS Robin made a permanent fixture of Royal Docks

The SS Robin moored in the Royal Docks.

The SS Robin moored in the Royal Docks. - Credit: Archant

Newham Council have approved plans for the world’s last remaining steamcoaster to be permanently moored at the Royal Docks.

The SS Robin, managed by charity SS Robin Trust, has been a temporary fixture outside Millennium Mills since July 2011.

But councillors passed a motion to keep the ship in the Docks at a Strategic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday January 22.

The historic vessel carried iron slabs for the French government from the foundry at Santiago to Bayonne and Burdeos during World War One, escorted by two destroyers to protect her from German U-boats.

During the Spanish Civil War the ship was laid up at San Esteban de Pravia from 1935 to 1939.

Thousands of such vessels would have made up the Thames riverscape in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but today the SS Robin is one-of-a-kind.

David Kampfner, SS Robin project consultant and co-founder, said: ‘We’re thrilled that SS Robin has finally found a permanent home in Royal Victoria Dock so close to her original birthplace on the River Lea where she was built in 1890.

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“This is an exciting time as we complete her five-year-long restoration project and get ready to open her to the public early next year.”

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “The permanent mooring of this iconic ship is adding another exciting dimension to the transformation of Newham. London is moving east and there is huge potential here for investment, growth and greater prosperity.”

To find out more about the history of the SS Robin, visit,,